June 2023 CTE Workgroup Update

The Career & Technical Education (CTE) Workgroup is looking forward to the coming school year with more CTE pathways offered than ever before. The number of students with intellectual disabilities earning and interested in earning meaningful credentials and industry recognized credentials continues to increase. With this growth, the number of technical colleges offering inclusive postsecondary CTE programs will need to increase to meet the demand. Students are Florida CTE programs are currently earning certifications in the areas of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Automotive Collision Technology, Digital Media Video Production, and Baking and Pastry Arts to name just a few. The success of current programs along with lessons learned provides a roadmap for those interested in developing an inclusive postsecondary career and technical education program on their campus. To provide direction, the CTE Workgroup is creating online learning modules focusing on developing or improving CTE programs that support students with ID.


When thinking about developing and sustaining an inclusive postsecondary education CTE program, knowing about the resources available is vital to success. During the CTE Workgroup meeting in April, Nithya Govindasamy, Senior Advisor with Advance CTE, gave an overview of the organization. Advance CTE is a non-profit organization supporting state leaders and State CTE Directors of CTE. Their mission is to advance equitable CTE policies, pathways, and programs leading to career and college success.

Another important partner to work with when developing a CTE program is Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). The June CTE Affinity Group meeting focused on CTE and VR collaboration. Special guests included Bailey Smith, University of Arkansas, Pulaski Technical College, 3D Program and Russ Thelin, Senior Policy Fellow with Think College, and expert in VR.re


To share information and raise awareness, Drew Andrews, CTE Workgroup Lead recently presented at Florida’s Division on Career Development and Transition Conference in Jacksonville, Florida as well as the Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) Conference in Nashville. This fall CTE Workgroup members will co-present at the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) Postsecondary, Best Practices, and VISIONS Conferences.


If you are interested in learning more about inclusive postsecondary education programs that focus on CTE, or if you currently have a program and would like to look at ways to incorporate CTE, reach out to Dr. W. Drew Andrews (drew.andrews@ucf.edu), Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network – CTE Collaborative Workgroup lead.


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